English Name: Pigeon Pea
Common India Name (Hindi): Arhar dal
- In India, split pigeon peas (toor dal) are one of the most popular pulses. It is also called 'tuvara parippu' in Kerala, ‘Kanddi pappu’ in Telugu, ‘arhar’ in Hindi and Bangla, ‘red gram’/ ‘toovar’/ ‘toor’ in Gujrati/Marathi/Punjabi, and ‘tuvaram paruppu’ in Tamil.
- Pigeon pea is an important grain legume crop of rainfed agriculture in the semi-arid tropics. The Indian subcontinent, Eastern Africa and Central America, in that order, are the world's three main pigeon pea producing regions.
- Pigeon peas are nutritionally important, as they contain high levels of proteins and the important amino acid methionine, lysine and tryptophan. In combination with cereals, pigeon peas make a well-balanced human food.
- In south India a popular dish sambar is made with this. Plain Dal is also made with pigeon peas. In Ethiopia, not only the pods but the young shoots and leaves are cooked and eaten.
- The woody stems of pigeon peas are used as firewood, fencing and thatch. In Thailand, pigeon peas are grown as a host for scale insects which produce lac.
- Pigeon peas are in some areas an important crop for green manure. They can after incorporation provide up to 40 kg nitrogen per hectare.
- This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Folate and Manganese.